A little less than a week before the Frankfurt Motor Show, Jaguar is already stealing the spotlight with its C-X16 concept, a cutting edge two-seat hybrid sports car that will have the new 2012 Porsche 911 quaking in its rubber.
Built on a super light aluminum structure, the car is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 kicking out 375 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque coupled with an electric engine generating 93 hp and 173 lb-ft and an 8-speed automatic transmission.
At the press of a button on the steering wheel the electric mill comes to life and adds its ponies to the mix, resulting in 0-100 km/h acceleration times of 4.4 seconds and 80-120 km/h in 2.1 seconds, en route to top speeds of 299 km/h.
The C-X16 can zip along on electricity alone up to 80 km/h, with regenerative braking recharging the electric engine on the road. The car will be quite environmentally friendly as well, emitting just 165 g of CO2 per kilometre.
At 4,445 mm long, 2,048 mm wide and 1,297 mm high, this is Jaguar’s smallest offering since 1954.
Finally, the car boasts perfect 50/50 weight distribution, as the batteries powering the electric engine are located behind the seats.
Jaguar hasn’t shared its intentions yet, so we don’t know if a production version will see the light of day or not. We can only fervently hope it will, as this is one sublime machine, both inside and out.
Put the central masses -- the engine, occupants and fuel -- in the middle of a car, and you lay the foundation for a machine that's more responsive, agile, and stable at high speeds, than one with the heavy stuff concentrated at either end.